Cuomo Expects Lawmakers Will Back Down On Amendments
Gov. Andrew Cuomo does not expect a legal challenge to his 30-day budget amendments, which state lawmakers so far have not introduced in the Legislature.
Cuomo’s budget amendments this year tie spending to his ethics proposals, which include new disclosure requirements for state lawmakers as well as controls over travel reimbursements.
The amendments also yoked the DREAM Act and the education tax credit — a bill seen as benefiting private schools — to funding for the Tuition Assistance Program.
Senate Republicans have quietly discussed their legal options, including challenging Cuomo’s authority to tie policy to spending measures.
Cuomo in Syracuse today, however, said he is doubtful it will come to that.
“I will wager you there is no lawsuit,” Cuomo said. “We have different points of view and we’re arguing it and working it through.”
Cuomo added that he’s been able to work with the Legislature despite differences on key issues in the budget.
“In Albany, we’ve had differences, but we’ve been able to reconcile and compromise,” Cuomo said. “We will reconcile and we will compromise and we will move forward.”
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, meanwhile, was more pointed when asked about the amendments not being introduced.
“They have a responsibility to introduce the amendments,” Hochul said. “We expect it will happen in a timely fashion. The people of New York deserve an on-time budget.”
Cuomo has secured budget agreements before the March 31 deadline for the last four years, reversing a trend of increasingly late spending plans.
The on-time budget passage has been a hallmark of Cuomo success in Albany during his first term.
But this year, Cuomo has said he would hold up a budget agreement if lawmakers do not approve what he considers meaningful ethics reform in the wake of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s arrest on corruption charges.
“By and large a lot of the governor’s proposals I agree with wholeheartedly,” said Sen. Jeff Klein, the leader of the five-member Independent Democratic Conference. “But sometimes tying things together really prevents meaningful negotiations for everyone to get on the same page. I’m confident if we break apart some of the governor’s 30-day amendments, I think we can come up with an agreement on a lot of those issues.”
Sen. John Flanagan, a Republican from Long Island, told reporters a legal challenge to the governor’s amendments would be a “last resort” and that he hoped the concerns they’re raising would ultimately be deemed moot in the wake of a compromise.
In tying the non-budgetary policy to spending, Cuomo is hinging his authority on Silver v. Pataki, a Court of Appeals ruling that granted the governor wide authority over the budget-making process.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, meanwhile, downplayed the significance of the amendments not being introduced, an unusual step in Albany’s budgetary tradition.
“There were so many different arrows that the governor drew, we’re trying to figure them out, so we can have an appropriate legislative response,” he said.
Asked if he believed there would be an on-time budget, Skelos said, “Oh, yeah.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on March 4, 2015 at 1:35 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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